“As the body gets weaker, the spirit gets stronger,” Linda Kinnamon repeatedly tells her patients. Being a hospice nurse she spends her days caring for and visiting the terminally ill. But in the pre-dawn hours, as her patients near death, they occasionally pay her a visit instead.
Whether it’s perfume drifting through a room or a touch on the shoulder, the strength of spirit displayed at the end of life is as unique as the individual. Alchemy of the Afterlife is a memoir of life AFTER death based on Linda’s childhood as an orphan combined with her adult experiences as a hospice nurse. These encounters reveal both a glimmer of heaven and a flash of hell.
This is a child’s story about surviving abuse and neglect, only to be comforted by a visit from her mother, a visit that took place four years after her mother’s death. It’s a nurse’s story about patients of all beliefs, and their evolution from life to afterlife minus the harps and halos. Most of all, it’s an uplifting and universal story of the golden transformation we will all experience at death, a transformation with the heart of pure love.
Linda Kinnamon skillfully weaves two difficult topics, a child’s loss of both parents and her experiences as a hospice nurse, into a touching narrative. Reading Linda’s story, my heart broke for the little girl who experienced an entire lifetime of loss in four short years. But those experiences gave her unique insights into the journey her dying patients faced. More importantly, those experiences gave her the courage and compassion to offer comfort and hope to patients and their loved ones at the most difficult time of their lives. “We minister out of our own pain.” Like Linda, I don’t have the whole life after death thing figured out, but her experiences dealing with terminal patients and their families give us hope that death is not the end. “Just because we don’t understand it and can’t explain it doesn’t make it any less real.”